NUS Annual Teaching Excellence Award (ATEA)


The ATEA recognises achievements in teaching, including instruction, educational design, assessment and feedback, as well as wider adoption of good practices in these areas through leadership and support of other colleagues.

The purpose of the award is to promote university teaching. The award seeks to recognize NUS colleagues, whether individuals or teams, whose teaching has positively contributed to students’ learning and a broader culture that values teaching. A subsidiary but equally important goal therefore is to encourage wider sharing and adoption of good teaching practices beyond a single module/course, i.e. within the department, programme, faculty, or the university more broadly.

Teaching excellence

Teachers can and do achieve excellence in different ways. In the context of this award, ‘excellence’ is understood as achieving, and sustaining over time, high levels of positive educational impact. In the case of this award, excellence is achieved through new or existing pedagogies that advance the learning of students, colleagues, and the wider university community.  

Annual Teaching Excellence Award (ATEA) Sub-categories

Sub-category A: Individuals

Sub-category B: Teams

Recognizes positive contributions by an individual to the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of high-quality teaching and assessment at the module/course or programme level, in a sustained and impactful way.


Recognizes positive contributions by teams to the co-design, development, implementation, and evaluation of high-quality teaching and assessment at the module/course or programme level, in a sustained and impactful way. These contributions involve collaboration by teachers to achieve goals that would not have been typically achievable by an individual.


  • Applications may be submitted for only one university-level teaching award per year.
  • Applications must specify only one sub-category:
    • Sub-category A, Individual: applicant must be a full-time NUS faculty member.
    • Sub-category B, Teams: applicants must be full-time NUS faculty members, with optionally non-teaching staff members; the team leader, who is to submit the application, needs to be a full-time teaching faculty member.
  • The applicant must be a current faculty level teaching award winner. In the case of teams, this requirement is waived.
  • The applicant must not currently be on the Honour Roll (award winners who have won either of the awards three times, will be placed on the Honour Roll in the following year).

  • There will be no quota on ATEA and ADEA nominations, but FTECs need to ensure that the highest quality nominations are put forward.



The award will carry a monetary value of $2,000 (individual category) and $8,000 (teams, to be awarded to team leader and distributed among team members). Recipients will be recognised at a university-wide Teaching Awards Ceremony to celebrate and share their achievements with the NUS community. 


Nominations will be evaluated with reference to evidence of strength in and positive impact through one or more of the following. It is not necessary to meet all the criteria, but applicants would make a compelling case by providing evidence of strengths in more than one area.

  1. Thoughtful design and use of pedagogical approaches to teach subject knowledge in or across disciplines.
  2. Enhancing student learning, student engagement and/or the overall student experience.
  3. Fit-for-purpose assessments that advance educational goals, and promote higher-order thinking.
  4. Effective feedback strategies to motivate and support students’ learning and growth.
  5. Creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment.
  6. Demonstrating leadership through envisioning change and sharing the achievement for wider adoption, thereby enhancing the practice of colleagues within the department, and wherever possible more broadly in the faculty, school, or the wider NUS community.

In the case of team nominations, the team leader, in addition, needs to indicate how the team has collaborated by highlighting the role of each team member and explaining how that collaboration has been advantageous.

Possible sources of evidence

A successful case will depend on evidence from multiple and convergent sources, for example:

  • students’ feedback: evidence of interpretation and analysis of students’ perception of whether they have gained from the teaching
  • students’ work: evidence of interpretation and analysis of student work that demonstrates positive impact on learning
  • peer recognition: evidence of esteem from colleagues (e.g. in the department/college/faculty or overseas), and of influence and support beyond student learning
  • self: educational activities, materials, and accomplishments, with evidence of informed reflection on these as well as relevant sources of evidence such as those enumerated above


Documentation and Submission Process

Documentation needs to be brief and should be focused on specifically addressing the relevant criteria above.

For Applicants

Applicants will submit a digital portfolio consisting of:

  • Teaching statement (1000-1500 words). The statement should consist of a teaching philosophy and one impact narrative that together make an evidence-informed case for the award.
  • This reflective statement needs to articulate the individual or team’s strength, based on the pedagogical rationale for teaching, educational design, assessment, or feedback in the specific case being made. It should do so by demonstrating alignment with the criteria and explaining how as well as why pedagogical practice exemplifies the achievement.
  • 3-minute video that demonstrates the teaching innovation and its impact as a resource for wider adoption (optional for ATEA)
  • In the case of teams, the submission must be made by the team leader. The documentation should highlight the way the team collaborated on a common purpose and spell out the different contributions of team members.
  • For any attachments (optional) to the Teaching Statement, please upload separately in the Supplementary documents section in the University Teaching Awards Portal (UTAP).  All attachments must be properly interpreted and cited in the Teaching Statement;  they should complement what is written to make a case for the award.

Guidelines for writing a Teaching Statement     Guide for creating 3-minute videos    

Submission should be made using the University Teaching Awards Portal (UTAP) and must be made by the applicant using his/her login NUS User ID, within the Applicant Submission Period determined by the applicant’s FTEC.

University Teaching Awards Portal (UTAP)


FTECs should prepare and submit a one-page citation (300 words) for each nomination, which makes a case for the applicant’s /team’s impact with reference to the award criteria. 

FTEC submission of nominated applications to UTEC should be made using the University Teaching Awards Portal (UTAP) before the FTEC submission closing date. 



  • At the School/Faculty level, FTECs will evaluate applications (from among current faculty level teaching award winners or, where applicable, those on faculty level Honour Roll) and submit nominations for consideration by UTEC.
  • Submissions will be evaluated by the University Teaching Excellence Committee (UTEC) with reference to the criteria above.

Back to Teaching Awards     View Timeline and Selection Process